Bugatti Bolide’s Claimed Nurburing Time Isn’t Real
The Bugatti Bolide Concept, which is a track-focused supercar has impressive numbers. An 8.0-liter W16 engine, 1,824 horsepower, 1,364 lb-ft of torque, a power-to-weight ratio of 0.67 kg/PS, and a weight of 1,240 kilograms — all dazzle.
Another impressive number — the claimed 3:07.1 lap time around LeMans and 5:23.1 around the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife. Problem is, those numbers are based on simulations.
There’s nothing wrong with automakers using a simulation to find out how fast their cars might go around famous race circuits, but it’s a bit unusual for a company to use a simulated time as a claim, as opposed to waiting until it can get a prototype out for a real-life lap.
Perhaps this would be less annoying if it was clearly marked as a simulation in the press release, but Bugatti instead used a footnote to quietly note the truth.
There’s no reason to think the Bolide won’t be amazing to drive, and amazingly fast, if it’s built. But using simulated runs around two of the world’s most famous racetracks to make claims is more than a little shady.
A bit of free advice to Bugatti PR: If you’re going to make a claim based on a simulation, make it extremely clear from go.
A quick scan of a few news articles shows that while journalists were quick to point out that the claims were made by Bugatti but not verified, they didn’t point out that the claim was based on a simulation. Having read the release, I wouldn’t be surprised if they simply didn’t notice.
On the list of shady things an OEM can do, this is pretty low and exceptionally annoying. As for the news writers who didn’t mention that it a simulation was the cause of the claims, let’s hope it was simply a failure to notice a small-font footnote. Being too credulous because you failed to spot an easy-to-miss caveat is understandable. Spotting it and failing to care is not.